Definition of onomatopoeia in English:

onomatopoeia

noun

mass noun
  • 1The formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (e.g. cuckoo, sizzle).

    • ‘It may have imagery, alliteration, and/or onomatopoeia if desired by the writer.’
    • ‘It combines - appropriately in four letters - the notion of ripping, rooting, offing and torting in mellifluous onomatopoeia.’
    • ‘Let's just say there's an element of onomatopoeia in the phrase.’
    • ‘The sounds of living, onomatopoeia and words, were the purpose of that voice.’
    • ‘Even in its expression it aims at excellence by means of word-play, onomatopoeia, and so forth.’
    • ‘Yet the aural discipline plays a major part in poetic meaning, in ways that go far beyond mere onomatopoeia.’
    • ‘If you're sceptical about the role played by sound symbolism and straight-out onomatopoeia in word origins, Liberman marshals some impressive evidence in its favour.’
    • ‘Some people just use onomatopoeia, while others insist on miming the playing of drums and crashing of cymbals.’
    • ‘What he admired in these poets was their inventive use of word and sound in every device of onomatopoeia, alliteration, pun and palindrome.’
    • ‘It's obvious I'm horribly out of place: I don't know what onomatopoeia means, I don't like metafiction, I haven't read any of the Brontë sisters, and I don't care about the correct placement of semi-colons; I'm on edge.’
    • ‘The book is largely wordless, relying instead on a symphony of onomatopoeia.’
    • ‘This seems like the sort of place that would take onomatopoeia too far.’
    • ‘I asked his teacher when they studied onomatopoeia.’
    • ‘The Latin word was tussis, with its own form of onomatopoeia, giving modern words like toux, tosse (Italian and Portuguese), and toz (Spanish).’
    • ‘Did you ever consider approaching your linguistics department with a master's thesis solely dedicated to onomatopoeia?’
    • ‘From time to time, of course, name and music fuse, and you get a kind of etymological perfection that's somehow close to onomatopoeia.’
    • ‘You talk about the ‘undercurrent of muddlement’ and I love the way you've used the word ‘muddlement’, because ‘muddlement’ almost has an onomatopoeia; there is muddlement in ‘muddlement’.’
    • ‘I've been thinking recently about onomatopoeia: the sound words we use to describe actions.’
    • ‘There is a penchant for onomatopoeia in this poetry that insists on the glottal while pushing toward an uncanny, tin-canny tune: gling and ting, KABOOM and kerpow, dzziitt, shh sh, tsk tsk.’
    • ‘‘Zing’ was the only proper onomatopoeia one could ever really come up with.’
    1. 1.1 The use of onomatopoeia for literary effect.
      • ‘It's interesting to me that in your work, apart from an obvious concern about ethics per se here, the text itself almost becomes cyborgian, almost becomes genetically modified and that's what you're talking about - the onomatopoeia.’
      • ‘Paradise Lost is also, of course, filled with mimetic sound effects, onomatopoeia and mimetic syntax, which only work if the poem is sounded.’
      • ‘The only words that appear are a few onomatopoeia such as ‘ring,’ ‘poff’ and ‘boom.’’
      • ‘One remarkable piece appears to be a superhero story, but all the words, including the onomatopoeia, read together as a short memoir of the author's childhood.’

Origin

Late 16th century: via late Latin from Greek onomatopoiia ‘word-making’, from onoma, onomat- ‘name’ + -poios ‘making’ (from poiein ‘to make’).

Pronunciation

onomatopoeia

/ˌɒnə(ʊ)matəˈpiːə/